Velocomp has launched the iBike iSport, a straight-forward, easy-to-use power meter retailing for $199.
iBike claims it’s every bit as accurate as $1,000-plus powermeters, and it comes with built-in fitness tests and workouts, which makes it easier to keep your training on target than taping scribbled shorthand to your stem.
Besides the low price, the best part is it’s self contained…you don’t need to replace your cranks, bottom bracket or hubs to use it. Based on accelerometer technology used in cars, airplanes, iPhones and Nintendo Wii’s, it’s all built into a compact, bar-mount package.
If you want to read their standard press release, click here. If you want to see how this thing really works, click “more” for all the details…
The difference between iBike and SRM (and similar) powermeters is the way they measure force. Typical powermeters measure applied force…as in the force you apply to the pedals. iBike measures opposing forces, including gravity (incline/decline), wind, acceleration and friction. This is similar to the technology used in airplanes to measure windspeed and in cars’ safety systems. It’s also the same thing that lets you destroy your siblings with repeated beer frames in Wii bowling.
The downside is this limits its usefulness on mountain bikes due to the changing nature of the bikes relative angle to the ground because of suspension movement (though if you ride a fully rigid whip, this may not be an issue…but then again, you probably don’t care too much about power either).
The iSport provides a built-in fitness test that lets riders assess their cycling fitness and monitor their progress over time. Users can jump-start their training and improve ride results with on-screen cardio, fat-burning, and strength-building workouts customized to their personal fitness level. The tests and an included book, Fast Fitness with Power, were developed by professional cyclist and coach Boyd Johnson with foreward from power training expert Hunter Allen.
The price puts power measurement in the hands of a lot more aspiring racers, with the ability to upgrade to more features as your prize money racks up. For example, ride data from the iSport is not downloadable; however, but it’s fully upgradeable to an iBike Pro with all of its features and download functionality. The upgrade package is $249.
Additionally, you can upgrade ($269) to a wireless kit that includes Cadence and Heart Rate measurements. Or, if you haven’t had your money in the market lately, you can go for the iAero ($799) which measures all of the above plus your aerodynamic drag. Sweeeeet.
If you’re interested, here’s a set up video on the iSport: